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Mircea Eliade - Australian aboriginal beliefs on death

Identifier

010967

Type of spiritual experience

Background

A description of the experience

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

For certain tribes, who are reckoned among the most archaic, the dead go to the sky, but that the majority of ‘primitive’ peoples know at least two post mortem routes – celestial for privileged beings (chiefs, shamans, initiates) and horizontal or infernal for the rest of mankind.  Thus a certain number of Australian tribes – Narrinyeri, Dieri, Buandik, Kurnai and Kulin – believe that the dead rise into the sky; among the Kulin they go up by the rays of the setting sun.  But in Central Australia the dead haunt the familiar places where they had passed their lives; elsewhere, they go to certain regions in the west

The source of the experience

Australian aboriginal

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image